Life: The other insurance “gotcha”
I received my life-insurance bill in the mail over the weekend. Life insurance isn’t a choice for me; considering my family, I consider it an obligation. There is no way I would leave my wife and kids without the money to get by if I weren’t there to help. My policy is nothing special, it’s just your standard 20-year term life insurance policy… for a person with Type 1 diabetes. Pretty boring stuff.
I won’t get into details, but let’s just say that the bill wasn’t cheap. Since I’m only beginning my third year under this policy and not quite used to the bill’s arrival every January, it still comes as quite a shock when it arrives – leaving me scratching my head and asking Huh? Can this be right? Ultimately, it’s an evil, but understandable, necessity.
For comparison, my wife (who got her policy at the same age I got mine) got her bill about a week earlier. Her premium is about one-sixth of mine, and her coverage is about three-times what I have. Yup, I pay out six times what she does, and I get one-third the “benefit”. (The concept of a “death benefit” always seems peculiar to me). I often feel guilty of being under-insured and not providing for my family as I should, but my wife and I agree that, given the premiums, the policy I’ve got is the best one for us.
In trying to keep with my commitment to try to see the brighter side of things, I found a way to rationalize this in my head. Although my wife and I both earn roughly the same salary, so our policies should – in theory – be the same, I figure that if I die first, my family’s expenses will go down dramatically. No more diabetes stuff to buy. No more medical specialists (or Schedule-G life insurance premiums) to pay or “medical emergencies” to cover. Let’s face it: a nice chunk of our family expenses are due to me. (Not to mention, my medical insurance coverage is through her employer, and if she goes first, so does that coverage). So maybe it makes sense for me to have less coverage.
Yeah, it’s a bit cold to think of ourselves in terms of dollar-values, but when it comes to life insurance, that’s how you’ve got to do it.
Oh, and the other part of the brighter side of things, perhaps the best part: I’m still alive.